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The Stainless Steel Rat by Harry Harrison
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The Stainless Steel Rat (1961)

by Harry Harrison

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1,178226,841 (3.58)31
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Slippery Jim DiGriz is the greatest criminal in the galaxy, a stainless steel rat amongst worlds where lawbreakers are few and far between. But the Special Corps eventually catches up with him and he ends up becoming an agent on the trail of a femme fatale who's built herself a battleship! This slim novel moves along at a snappy pace and is a good, old fashioned space opera laced with sardonic humour. Enjoyable. ( )
  David.Manns | Nov 28, 2016 |
It's a strange business, reading something that was originally published circa 1960. I read some of the pieces that this book was based on before I'd read the book, and it has been many years since I'd read either. Harrison could always write, and even though the tech is sometimes jarringly out of synch with current reality, it's still fun.

Ah, Slippery Jim, you were always one of my heroes. Thanks for letting me revisit those days. Still an excellent read. ( )
  Lyndatrue | Oct 24, 2016 |
A hero who always manages to somehow make it out of every scrape in one piece no matter what the odds. He is a survivor. ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

"At a certain stage, the realization strikes through that one must either live outside of society’s bonds or die of absolute boredom. There is no future or freedom in the circumscribed life and the only other life is complete rejection of the rules. There is no longer room for the soldier of fortune or the gentleman adventurer who can live both within and outside of society. Today it is all or nothing. To save my own sanity, I chose nothing."

In the future society where Jim diGriz lives, most criminal and anti-social behavior has been weeded out of the human genome. It’s hard for bad guys to hide themselves in this antiseptic society — in order to survive, you gotta be a stainless steel rat, and Slippery Jim diGriz is a really sneaky one. He’s exceptionally cunning but he’s not murderous, so when he finally gets caught, instead of fixing him, the intergalactic cops decide to recruit him. Jim’s pretty conflicted about working for the good guys, but soon he’s on his first case after he figures out that somebody evil is building a battleship.

The Stainless Steel Rat is, simply, tons of fun. It’s quick-paced, action-packed, and funny. The villains are purposely overdone in that cheesy James Bond / Batman kind of way, but Harry Harrison doesn’t skimp on Jim diGriz’s character. The Stainless Steel Rat is one of those outlaws that you just can’t help but root for, especially when he’s always amused with himself and his circumstances. For a science fiction novel written in 1961, The Stainless Steel Rat ages well, too.

I listened to Brilliance Audio’s version read by Phil Gigante who gives a lively performance. I’m sure that a lot of my chuckling was caused by Mr. Gigante’s interpretation of diGriz’s personality. In one scene, diGriz takes a drug that’s supposed to help him understand the mind of a sociopath. This was beautifully and hilariously portrayed by Mr. Gigante. Brilliance Audio will be producing several more Stainless Steel Rat novels read by Phil Gigante. I will definitely be picking those up! ( )
1 vote Kat_Hooper | Apr 6, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Harry Harrisonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Barnard, BrynCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gigante, PhilNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Markkula, PekkaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Powers, Richard M.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schoenherr, JohnCover Artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Als die Bürotür sich plötzlich öffnete, wusste ich, dass das Spiel wieder einmal aus war.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0722144814, Paperback)

Jim DiGriz is caught during one of his crimes and recruited into the Special Corps. Boring, routine desk work during his probationary period results in his discovering that someone is building a battleship, thinly disguised as an industrial vessel. In the peaceful League no one has battleships anymore, so the builder of this one would be unstoppable. DiGriz' hunt for the guilty becomes a personal battle between himself and the beautiful but deadly Angelina, who is planning a coup on one of the feudal worlds. DiGriz' dilemma is whether he will turn Angelina over to the Special Corps, or join with her, since he has fallen in love with her.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:00 -0400)

Jim DiGriz is caught during one of his crimes and recruited into the Special Corps. Boring, routine desk work during his probationary period results in his discovering that someone is building a battleship, thinly disguised as an industrial vessel. In the peaceful League no one has battleships anymore, so the builder of this one would be unstoppable. DiGriz' hunt for the guilty becomes a personal battle between himself and the beautiful but deadly Angelina, who is planning a coup on one of the feudal worlds. DiGriz' dilemma is whether he will turn Angelina over to the Special Corps, or join with her, since he has fallen in love with her.… (more)

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